PUPILS at Rhyl’s new £23million faith school were eager to get settled in and explore their new surroundings during the first day of the new term.

Christ the Word Catholic School, which has replaced Ysgol Mair and Blessed Edward Jones Catholic High School, have conducted a staggered opening.

The school welcomed year four, year six, year seven and year 10 on Friday, September 6 and year two, three, nine and 11 on Monday, September 9.

Reception and year one, year five and year eight started on Tuesday, September 10.

Rhyl Journal:

Dora Monoki. Picture: Kerry Roberts

The Journal paid a visit to the school on Monday, being led by headteacher Amanda Preston, and chatted to excited pupils and staff.

Joseph Steel, 11, had just started Year Seven as part of 7C. He said he was keen to study maths and science and hopes for a career connected with trains.

“I am very excited and hope it is a successful year and I progress well,” he said.

Joseph, who previously attended Ysgol Bryn Hedydd, had already enjoyed a tour around the school.

“I like the corridor shapes and it is very well designed," he added.

"It is quite simple but complicated. It has got a nice balance.

Rhyl Journal:

Year Seven pupil Joseph Steel with Lucy Feliciello, head of Religious Education at Christ the Word. Picture: Kerry Roberts

“I am quite excited about the wood technology rooms. They have a lot of new equipment.

“I really like the uniform. I like the blazer and how it contrasts with the slightly darker jumper and the school shorts.”

Dora Monoki, who is studying ICT, History and PE, is a Year 10 pupil. She started Christ the Word on Friday.

“It was very exciting coming into a new school with a new atmosphere,” she said.

Year 10 pupil Dora Monoki

“It was very confusing at first because we didn’t know where all the classrooms were. As we settled in, it was really exciting.

“The [new building] is absolutely amazing. One, it is bigger, two - it is two schools merged into the one so we feel closer together and I think that is a great idea because it gets us closer together as a Catholic school.”

Rhyl Journal:

Lewis Weatherley, director of Pastoral Care. Picture: Kerry Roberts

Speaking about the uniform, Dora said: “I actually like it. It feels a lot smarter than the old one and it makes us stand out a bit more.”

Christ the Word will look after pupils from the age of three to 16.

The school ethos is based on the Gospel values of Faith, Hope and Love.

Facilities include a chapel, drama studio, sports hall and all weather pitches, a music suite, design and technology workshops and science laboratories and on arrival, pupils are greeted with an impressive atrium entrance.

There is a childcare setting catering from 69 children from the age of two to 12. 

Lucy Feliciello, head of Religious Education at Christ the Word, said: “Pupils are so proud, seeing them in their uniform, they really value the school already. They are really proud to be here.

"We have been talking about it [the project] for such a long time, from the early consultation stage and for all these months we have been discussing it and chatting about ideas and to actually see it here now, it is brilliant.

"The facilities are absolutely fantastic. There is a beautiful mosaic when you first walk in and as the pupils come in, they are just drawn to it.

"There is two aspects to my role. Our aim is to deliver outstanding teaching and learning but that should be underpinned by Catholic values and the gospel values. So they will learn a lot about the Catholic faith within R.E lessons, but actually when they leave R.E lessons, they will be given further guidance, support on how to actually live those values."

Lewis Weatherley, director of Pastoral Care, said: "It is my job to look after all the children, their happiness, their safety, across the upper and the lower school. 

"I have been in the field of pastoral support for about six years now. I moved over from a school in Flintshire where I started as a teaching assistant and I moved up into a pastoral support team of around six people and now I am here. I am really excited to get going. 

"What I would like to do, one of my main goals, is to really involve the community. I really want the community to have a say and have an input into the direction that this school goes. That is so important, not just in a state school, but in a Catholic school as well. That is one of my main goals to really give the community a say to where this school is going." 

Bishop Peter attended the school for its staff welcome mass.

Mrs Preston said: “It marked the beginning of Christ the Word as a team to ensure our community school is a beacon of excellence.”

An open evening is being held at the school on Thursday, September 26 from 4.30pm – 6.30pm.

Everyone is welcome. Book a tour of the school by calling 01824 708007.